Ottawa Is A Winter City, Not A Cycling City


The Bulldog advocates good cycling. The Bulldog also advocates efficient use of taxpayer money.

In Ottawa, the two do not go together, certainly during the term of the current administration. They do in warm weather climates but not in a city with a severe winter (I can hear bike advocates warming up their computers to tell me about the great cycling in Helsinki). Yes there is biking but in a much milder climate than Ottawa. Here are the facts, not the myths and not the propaganda from the zealots on #ottbike.

For normal cyclists they can go two-wheeling about one-third of the year. Here are facts, not the propaganda.

So when Mayor Jim Watson starts musing about changing bike lanes on Holland, I feel a tug on my pocketbook.

Sure, build reasonable bike infrastructure, but let’s not get carried away.

And when you do spend considerable tax money on cycling, don’t waste it on dangerous Laurier bike lanes or Churchill complete streets. Churchill is not complete. It lacks cyclists.

This is a tough winter city. Bikes and ice don’t mix.


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4 thoughts on “Ottawa Is A Winter City, Not A Cycling City

  1. It appears the city got carried away long ago when it comes to blowing money on a very small group of cyclists who have disrupted our streets and businesses downtown.

  2. Ken, normally I’m right there with you on cycling issues. As a pedestrian I have lost count of how many times I’ve had near misses from cyclists on sidewalks or blowing through traffic signage, etc. I want to give them everything they want just to get them the hell away from me. There is no more selfish, irresponsible transport group than bikers.

    This time though I think I have to disagree. The Holland avenue issue is a result of the reconstruction of the Harmer pedestrian bridge over the Queensway and the resulting cycling/pedestrian traffic being redirected directly to Holland Ave. The way the City has dealt with this issue is just awful. Saving a few on street parking spaces, and redirecting children’s bikes onto the sidewalks, instead of installing temporary bike lanes should have been a non-starter. And yes, I’m well aware that the city has never met a ‘temporary’ ‘pilot’ project it didn’t like so those lanes would be permanent from day one. But it still would have been better than the current situation.

    Then again, why am I surprised. This city has a history of major mistakes when it comes to cycling infrastructure (e.g. Laurier and O’Connor bike lanes.)

    1. Nicholas:

      I don’t really have a position on the Holland bike lanes.

      I just worry when Watson starts musing about it because he has a history of being a terrible administrator and a huge money spender.



  3. I’m with Nicholas on this one. I saw his worship on TV the other day saying that he gets all the blame if things go wrong and all the credit if they go right. I’ll bet he will be nowhere to be seen when (if) the first cyclist is injured on Holland.


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